I had to buy a new wireless keyboard and mouse today, and I’ve been wanting to do more videos, so here we are.
This is the product in question:
I had to buy a new wireless keyboard and mouse today, and I’ve been wanting to do more videos, so here we are.
This is the product in question:
It all worked out okay in the end, thankfully. At first, I was disappointed.
This is the product in question:
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Slither.io is a video game you can play on iOS, Android, or on a browser online. I first played it on an iPad after my daughter expressed interest because she saw Ryan, from Ryan’s Family Review, playing it. After awhile, I paid to get the ads removed and one day, curious about the purpose of the game, I played it myself.
I liked it.
You play as a Slither, a snake with two eyes and a body. You can build your Slither, if you so choose, from a select set of colors or you can choose from a pre-made set. At first, I made my own but eventually settled on a pre-made black and yellow. The more pellets you eat, the longer your snake. The snake’s length is essentially its score so the goal is to grow your snake as big as possible. If your head hits into another snake’s body, you die. While the pellets one can eat on the map increase your length, the dead snakes give even more, adding a competitive edge to exploring and slithering around on the map, though it doesn’t have to be that way.
To my relief, a lot of other snakes are actually happy to simply eat and try not to kill each other. Some do, some don’t. I find it more relaxing when we’re all happy to just eat to get big and go on our merry way. Lately, I’ve been playing on my phone more since that has the option to play against the A.I. The game-play is faster and to me, maybe the most noticeably different thing, is the A.I. snakes are maybe not quite as aggressive or coordinated as some snakes online. By coordinated, I mean both that at least once online, I did feel two snakes were actively working together to kill mine, and they succeeded, and also that the other players know the exact right way at the exact right moment to destroy me with ease. They have good coordination in their own timing.
In any case, both experiences give me a little snake to make into a big snake, and I think I’m so cute when I’m little and so proud when I get big. I’m generally content to get over 1,000 though lately, I’ve even managed to get on the leader-board against the AI. In fact, as I type this review, my latest and best score from tonight (4/12/2018), is 18,501.
My approach is to mostly just work on eating whatever I can get to with as little danger as possible. I tend to play with caution though the more willing you are to risk, the faster you can get big. One strategy I saw on YouTube was to get on the leader-board and then make your snake into a big circle and go in and out of your coil to eat whatever is nearby in or out of it. I sometimes use that even when I’m not on the leader-board. It does put me at risk of being wrapped, but it’s a risk I take. I mean, playing the game itself and being near other snakes is a risk too. Sometimes instead of a circle, I just go up and down and hope maybe another snake ran into my tail.
Once I do get bigger, I might try wrapping the smaller snakes. Some do their best to spin and hope and work to getting out, and they do, because I might move on, and others outright give up and kill themselves. Another video I watched suggested a lot of good, aggressive tips, but I prefer to play at a calmer, passive pace. Slither.io helps me unwind, literally and figuratively.
You can play on a browser for free and see ads. The iOS version is also free with ads though for that one, you can pay to have them removed. It cost $4.32, and I do feel I have received my money’s worth from both my daughter’s and my own enjoyment. Since I paid for it on the iPad for her, the ads were removed when I put the game on my own iPhone as well.
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In recent years, I have read more books, thanks largely in part to an express interest in feminism and so by extension, politics, history, sociology, and more. Last year with the election of a zealous bigot masquerading as the president of the U.S., and alas, many of those with the power to do something going along with this farce, my mind fell into…well, not despair, but certainly a more stressed state than usual. Only a few days before the election, I had started reading Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online by Bailey Poland, one of the many writers I respect and follow on Twitter. Even within my thread of my reading, I note in December my difficulty in mentally continuing. By the end of February, I managed to finish and shared more thoughts into early March.
In any case, from March onward, I somehow made time for books, more in comparison to past years, thanks in part not just my interest inf feminism but by finding a list of diverse books on DonorsChoose.org for a fourth grade teacher at my daughter’s future school. Unfortunately, her project did not receive enough funding though I sent my $5 I donated as a gift card hoping she will put it to good use.
I did save the list so I could examine the books on my own time. I feel I should note that “diversity” in this case means putting forth the effort to find the reality we live in, to go beyond an overwhelmingly white or assumed-white default setting. In particular, I am thinking of the many times Daniel José Older has shared his thoughts on “diversity” on Twitter and think this particular tweet puts it well:
which gets at how positional the word ‘diversity’ really is. We use it as a kind of euphemism for non-dominant cultures/experiences…
Some of the books on my lists here will be from white authors or have white-default racialization. My apologies for this long-winded introduction, but here’s an overview of the books I read this year. I will go over the ones targeted to older age groups first.
Systemic Online Abuse
I read two books about systemic online abuse that are closely related and relevant to the changing times of new technology and social media. They are, as mentioned earlier, Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online by Bailey Poland and Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoë Quinn. They go over prevalent abuse and make the point of systems ignoring that abuse because those systems find it beneficial, or at least preferable to taking action that needs to be done.
I acknowledge that both the authors are white and suggest to any listening/reading publishers or people in power that this subject deserves analysis from trans Black women, as in full actual book deals, who were targeted first, if one can find any willing to do that work. Reliving one’s trauma to warn others is not at all pleasant though many who work toward social justice find it necessary. I would also like to put in a good word for Shafiqah Hudson (@sassycrass on Twitter), a cis Black woman who is cited by both Bailey and Zoë in their books for different reasons and is a generous and well-informed person on this particular subject. Fiqah started the “Not All Men” featuring interrupting men meme, pointed out her erasure from Wikipedia (which is now updated) in being the origin, and demonstrated alt-right organizing tactics with the hashtag #YourSlipIsShowing.
What Happened by Hillary Clinton includes examinations of several issues that go beyond Clinton’s campaign such as talking to people about opioid problems, the lead in the water of Flint, Michigan. If I ever have the time and energy, I would like to go back to this book and share more thoughts on a lot of things. I appreciate the several points that I find significant in the lead up and results of the election and understanding how so many factors came together.
The third and final installment of the post-apocalyptic Broken Earth series, The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin, came out this August, and since I’d read the first and second last year, I wanted to wrap it up this year. To me, it is an in-depth look on many levels of many things, including thorough examination of oppressive structures though the author herself has pointed it is ultimately a tale of a mother and daughter. Indeed, I re-read the ending an extra two times to take it all in all over again and think about them. After all, I am a daughter and now a mother too for going on four years this year.
Dragons: A Natural History by Karl Shuker is a book that retells various stories about different types of dragons as well as descriptions for the. I like dragons and figured I’d take that interest another step by reading this book. I enjoyed author’s bombastic writing, to use a word I felt fitting from another Goodreads review on it.
I usually don’t seek out poetry on purpose but The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran had a really good quote in What Happened and was short, so I put the book on hold from the library.
The quote I liked from the Prophet in Clinton’s book was:
Your children are not your children. They come through you but not from you. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you, for life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
For the record, this quote is actually cut up and re-formatted. In full, it actually goes:
Your children are not your children.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
I liked the story’s simplicity, and it has many quotable quotes though I also was a little bored pushing myself to finish.
When I put The Prophet on hold through my local library, the recommendation system said maybe I’d like to check out The Colossus and Other Poems by Sylvia Plath. Since I follow Anne Thériault on Twitter, and she often shares important interesting things about Sylvia Plath, I decided to give the book a try. Unfortunately, I did not like most of Plath’s poetry in that book. The ones I did note down as liking are The Ghost’s Leavetaking and The Disquieting Muses.
I learned that as with many other things, I need to set aside time for poetry when I am in a more welcoming and accepting mood for it. I’ve found reading shorter things first helps me with my reading, but when I put poetry as one of those shorter things to read sooner than later, I become bored.
These essays were specifically available through the library to borrow as books. I am making that distinction because I read essays online all the time, many more than these two, and will not be covering them here.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin is excellence I can only ever put into the words as striking me to the core.
We Should All Be Feminists is an essay adapted from a TEDx Talk. I appreciated the good points but feel as though the cis exclusive framing is significant in a harmful way. There are only two genders in this essay along with a completely wrong point about men being built physically stronger.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – This book was hard for me to read, partly boredom and partly traumatic experiences detailed. It definitely has some memorable moments that will stick with me in ways many other books won’t, and so it will endure and probably be appreciated all the more with time.
The Tale of Genji is another book I read but to be clear, I read the version with artwork by Yoshitaka Amano for the main purpose of seeing that artwork and it was short. As I stated in my Goodreads review, the artwork had many beautiful colors between flowing lines.
Children and Young Adult
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park tells two intertwining stories, the main one being about Salva’s journey seeking refuge from the war in Sudan, eventually what will be South Sudan. The story was gripping, powerful, and moving.
Across the Alley, written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, is about two boys learning from each other and their differences and how their talents and experiences intertwine. I had to re-read the beginning a few times to understand who was better or learning what. It was nice to read their growth together.
Baseball Saved Us, written by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee, is about Japanese internment and having baseball to help endure through the times. It was interesting and intense.
Grandfather Gandhi, written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Evan Turk, is about coping with anger as advised by Mahatma Gandhi to his grandson, Arun (one of the authors). I read this book with narration as an e-book, and it had some memorable moments. I went to explore the I must acknowledge that Gandhi’s memory includes a racist history. You can read more about that on RaceandHistory.com: The Myth of Mahatma Ghandi. Grandfather Gandhi touches on apartheid and race but does not acknowledge or include any of Gandhi’s own racism toward Black people.
I Am Not A Number, written by Jenny Kay Dupuis and illustrated Kathy Kacer, Gillian Newland, is about the experience of a young girl named Irene and what she and her First Nations family went through with the residential schools in Canada. The story and illustrations evoked powerful emotions and experiences.
Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson, is about a young Black boy, CJ, and his grandmother taking the bus from church to the soup kitchen and appreciating what one has and recognizing the people around us as full living breathing humans and beautiful. Sometimes I felt the grandmother’s responses were dismissive. For example, when CJ says he wishes he had one of “those,” meaning something like an iPod, she says “What for?” and points out they can listen to live music from a guitarist on the bus. The “What for?” is what I found dismissive. The whole point could have been made, and in my opinion, better made, without it.
Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright was a book my 4-year-old daughter randomly picked on our way out from the library. It is actually the third in a series though we did not know that. I had a lot of fun narrating it, she enjoyed my narration, and I found the ending to be very sweet. I hope to read the other books someday.
The Other Side, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis is about a young black girl who plays with her friends on one side of fence that separates them from the white families and so one white girl in particular on the other side. The white girl doesn’t cross but instead sits on the fence. Over time, the protagonist befriends her as do the other girls. It is a sweet and simple story with a dash of hope at the end that maybe one day the fence will go down. The watercolor illustrations were very good.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Méndez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh, to repeat something I said on Twitter, is a story wish I had learned in school, especially as a young girl of Mexican descent who didn’t have to face these segregation challenges and did not know they were endured until this year of my adulthood. The main thing we learned about segregation in school was that it happened and supposedly doesn’t happen anymore (it does, largely helped through the likes of charter schools). This book is about intentional segregation of Mexican children, whether they were actually from Mexico or not, and the local and state-level organizing involved in one family’s efforts to have their kids integrate into the better school.
The Story of Ferdinand, written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, is a popular straight-forward tale about a bull who likes to smell flowers. I didn’t really hate or like it and was more interested in reading about the response to it at the time it was released. The illustrations were very striking too.
We’re All Wonders by by R.J. Palacio was what I think of as standard fare in telling kids to appreciate each other’s differences with the addition of seeking escapism and hoping for something better. It was okay.
Women In Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky was a real treat with borrowing the hardcover from the library. This book came out this year so was fresh and new and not missing any pages. Most of this book includes 1 page with an illustration and another page with a synopsis about who the girl or woman was and what she meant to the sport she was in or even more broadly to the people around or watching her. Both pages included side notes. I liked this format because it made the reading episodic and I could then relay a given story easily to my 4-year-old daughter and/or husband.
Haters: Harassment, Abuse, and Violence Online by Bailey Poland
Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoë Quinn
What Happened by Hillary Clinton
The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin
Dragons: A Natural History by Karl Shuker
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
A Long Walk to Waterr by Linda Sue Park
Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Méndez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
Women In Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky
This year, I read a lot more books than I have since my high school days because I did prioritize shorter reads first. Something happened at the end of October to send me into another stressful mindset, so my main reading since has been Twitter, articles, and essays I’ve bookmarked, no books for awhile. The nice thing to know is that I have an organized list for when I am ready to read full books again.
Hi everyone, Cathy here. Today, we’re going to talk about Christmas tree lights, specifically my search for lights that were like the ones I had when I was a kid. I don’t remember what the setting was called, but I’ve been going with “twinkle.” We used to have lights, they were multi-functional lights. They could stay on, they could alternate between the colors, they could blink, and they had this effect that I’m going to call “twinkle,” but I’m going to describe it to you because it’s different than what the companies that make Christmas tree lights call “twinkle” now.
The lights would do a thing where they would fade and as one color would fade, one or two of the other colors would brighten, so it had kind of this wavy twinkling effect that I really, really liked when I was a kid.
So, we searched for lights when we moved to this house ages ago. Well, not ages ago, but, when we moved to this house, we decided to get a tree and some lights and let’s see here. This is either multi-functional or the ones that just stay on. These look like the ones that just stay on. Alright, I think we got these because the multi-functional we’ve got weren’t quite enough to cover the tree. Let me go get the multi-functional ones.
Alright, so these are the ones, we got these from Big Lots a few years ago. We moved here in 2012. That’s probably when we got them. As you can see right now, it’s just blue and red. And now they blink, alternate, fast blink, off, off. You see they don’t really work that well. Here they are, they brighten. But as you can see, no greens work. And it doesn’t do the twinkling one, like I said. In fact, I don’t remember what setting was closest to it, it might be this one, but between two colors, it’s not much to go by. These lights don’t work anymore. They’re not good enough.
So, this year, we decided to look for lights that did twinkle because most of the lights that we found at the store, they just stay on, they’re called constant. Apparently what we have are called multi-functional, and you will not find these at like just HEB, the local grocery store. We did find, not multi-functional, we found twinkling lights at Target. Let me show you. These are called twinkling Now, to me, this is some colors randomly blink. So, I wouldn’t necessarily call it twinkling, but that’s, here it is, this is the box. I think the other ones we had were red, blue, and green. And this one has red, blue, and green, and yellow, and orange, and purple. So, that was kinda cool. I liked that it had purple lights. I don’t really see that very often.
So, I was a little disappointed, but Andrew liked it, Ronnie liked it, and I was like, “Well, I can learn to live with it.” But Andrew was, maybe thought we could use some more lights and he was, he thought we could find something better. So we got these. These are multi-functional lights, and if you like here, the functions are Steady On – Warm White, Twinkling – Warm White, Fading In/Out – Warm White, and then repeat for the multiple colors and then Color Changing – Warm White or Multi or Fading In/Out – Warm White [to multiple colors].
So, this is, I’m actually not going to show you yet because I want to show you when it’s ready. We’re going to go in order here. Alright. Steady On for the multi-functional. Twinkling for Warm White is blinking. That’s, that’s their version of twinkling, not some lights randomly blink, all lights blink at the same time. Fading In/Out. Oops. Okay, so that’s kind of nice though we keep going. Steady on for multi-colors. Alright, nice. And twinkling for multiple colors. Again, it just blinks. Fading In/Out for the multiple colors. Alright and then, we start mixing them up between the warm [should be colors] and the white. And then this is the one we eventually settled on. I do like it. It’s Fading In/Out between warm white and multiple colors.
So, the colors don’t really wave in the twinkle like I was, like I kind of wanted to, to be like when I was a kid. But, overall, it does look, I’m satisfied. It’s finally something, at least a little bit like what I had hoped to find, maybe even a little better. I don’t know. It’s going to take some getting used to, but Andrew likes it, and I think Ronnie likes it, and I like it.
Ronnie: I like it.
Yeah, you hear that, she says she likes it. So, so we’re all pretty happy with it, and those are the lights that we have now for our Christmas tree. So if you want multi-functional lights, you’re probably, we got these at Walmart or you have to go, you have to go somewhere that’s not HEB, at least not the ones around here, they don’t have multi-functional lights. But this is what we got.
I’m going to post this on my blog, and I’ll try and transcribe it, and when I do, I’ll try to provide links for these, in case anyone else is interested in what we have.
So, thank you for watching and/or listening and/or reading. Bye-bye.
I actually couldn’t find the multi-functional ones on Walmart.com even though we bought them at one of the brick and mortar stores.
Color Sync Dual Color 8 Function LED M5 Christmas Lights Warm White to Multi Color – Amazon
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Greetings, all. I’m Cathy also known as Cat to some people. I’m going to review Tekken 7. If you’re unfamiliar with me, I’m a huge fan of Devil Jin and Jin Kazama. In fact, I mostly play these games for those characters. I do not play at a competitive level and mostly practice and fight the CPU in modes provided by the games. I will approach the game from this viewpoint, and a very large chunk of it will be about the story.
In fact, that’s where we’ll start. I am not going to shy from spoilers, so if you care about that, stop watching now. The story presented to us throughout the trailers over the years is Kazumi asking some figure, we later learn to be a guest character, Akuma from the Street Fighter fighting game series, to kill Heihachi if she can’t. He’s going to do all these terrible things, he being Heihachi, and the trailers build up this big final showdown between Heihachi and Kazuya with Jin not at all present. Kazumi aside, Tekken players have seen this story before, and it ended with Jin being a big factor-by that, I mean Tekken 4.
Well, in the case of Tekken 7, we got the story that was advertised. I’ll say that. And I had a lot of complaints about Tekken 6 not being that, because that was going to be some big showdown between Jin and Kazuya and instead, we got an entire mode dedicated to two crappy expansion characters. Of note, Alisa is one of my mains, but my head-canon of her is extremely different from Namcanon. I even change her name to Melissa to indicate she’s my version of Alisa.
I think the story mode was handled better in that I got to be some different characters as opposed to stuck with two expansion characters. Overall, I still prefer the Tekken 5 approach best. In that game, characters get prologue art, a cut scene or two I call interludes with other characters they meet at the tournament, of relevance to them, and then an ending.
The story itself is really bad. Let’s start with the voice-over telling us repeatedly throughout the story that fighting is about who’s left standing, nothing else. That’s it? Nothing about training? Nothing about learning through failure to be better? And while we’re at it, “left standing” and “still alive” can mean two different things, but the context of the climactic moment in this game is Kazuya kills Heihachi, which would mean that main theme of the story then is that in order to fight, you should kill the person so you are the only person left standing. I don’t think that’s a good message. And I think even if the message were that the game seems to confuse fighting with winning and to me, they’re not the same thing.
Another bad component of the story is the Jin hunt. There are a lot of characters who should be going after Jin in some capacity: Kazuya, Raven, Miguel, Hwoarang. Nina was having the Mishima Zaibatsu search for him, but when Heihachi showed up and took the Mishima Zaibatsu from her, his logic went that in order to expose Kazuya, he needs Jin and my initial reaction that was, “No, you don’t.” And then the story proceeds with them not getting Jin and exposing Kazuya anyway, so that pretty much confirmed exactly what I thought. And do not get me started on Lars. Oh, nope, it’s too late, we have to do this. If you don’t know me, Lars is my most hated character ever. He goes after Jin under the pretense of, “We have to put everything on Jin. Now my initial reaction was, “I don’t know what he means. What, like execute him, put him on trial? What?” And by the way, no, he doesn’t.
So let me see if I have this straight. This turd from the last game, last mainline story game, went and took over half of the Tekken Force, as part of some rebellion to the hostile world take-over and then after he gets exactly what he wants in Tekken 6, he still think she needs Jin, that Jin can solve the entire world’s problem because Jin was the entire world’s problem. Now I have always had a problem with the fact that Tekken 6 includes this “over half” line of the Tekken Force because I don’t actually believe some half-baked expansion character can do that and this now half-baked plot point only further convinces me. But anyway, Jin’s like, “yeah, the solution for everything is for me to kill Kazuya because I have the Devil’s blood.”
Now, they could have made this work better with instead of saying, “We need Jin for reasons that don’t make sense, actually, we don’t want Jin’s body in the wrong hands because the likes of Kazuya or the UN may not simply kill him but try experiment on him, and he’s dangerous because Devil.” Oh, and you do not save people from tyranny by killing one person.
I really wish I could be done talking about Lars, I hate him so much, but this story is so, so bad. I hated playing Scenario Campaign, and I especially hated the contrived drama of Alisa’s shutdown as some dramatic death and the ridiculous excuse for a friendship these two had and all of this awfulness is shown as, “yeah, we really did that, and we’re sticking by it.” Alisa could be so much more and better without him. But anyway, back to that annoying butt-head. The story also says that the only reason Heihachi fathered this turd was to prove that he did not have the devil gene. The story also says Heihachi dropped Kazuya off a cliff to prove it to him that Kazuya had the devil gene. Otherwise, the fall would kill Kazuya. So, based on the game’s own logic presented in its own story mode, Lars should be dead because Heihachi would have killed him in trying to prove he did not have the devil gene and yet…what a failure.
The narration is by a man who lost his family to the war, and one of the reviews I skimmed said the deadpan narration was comical though perhaps not intended to be so. I mainly found the opening funny because I wondered what story I walked into that started talking about a son’s love for his father. Anyway, I kept wondering if he’d be Gigas or something, but no, and overall, I don’t think I cared for it. The story mode focuses on the Mishima family so a lot of characters do not make the cut for having a presence here, yet nameless here does.
Can you believe that I’m still not done in telling you how bad this story is? So, as mentioned earlier, Kazumi asked Akuma to kill Heihachi and, we later find out, Kazuya too. Akuma, he’s in this story even though a lot of other Tekken characters aren’t, goes to do that, defeats Kazuya, and given that he was asked to kill him, said he was there to kill him, guess what he did not do? He did not check to see if Kazuya was dead, meaning he did not kill him. He just left!
I feel disappointed that Kazumi really was dead because that means we have five Mishima characters throughout the series (Heihachi, Kazuya, Jin, Jinpachi and now Kazumi), and the only woman among them is the one who is so definitively dead, her role in the story is actually a flashback even though she was the arcade boss.
I’m almost done on the story part. After you beat the story mode, you can get endings for other characters by playing their episodes. On the one hand, this made unlocking their endings really easy. On the other hand, most of these endings were not very good and even if they had good points, they were generally pretty short, presumably because of time and effort dedicated to the awfulness of the Mishima story. Devil Jin appears in his own and Hwoarang’s episodes. Jin appears in Miguel’s. I knew going into this game that I couldn’t think of any version of the story that would satisfy me after the debacle of Tekken 6 so my main bar was some good Jin and Devil Jin footage and there was so little of it, I’m overall disappointed.
Onward, to everything else.
Arcade Battle is only 5 matches and left me confused with the ending of Akuma flexing his power and then getting a Game Over screen, thought I’d done something wrong. I haven’t really looked back since playing the story mode. Treasure Battle is similar to past Ghost Battle modes, but you do not get to pick from three different opponents and you do have to deal with these gimmicks like turbo battle, double damage, aerial combo and Special Matches against certain characters. They are Kazumi, Heihachi, Devil Kazuya, Jin Kazama, and Akuma. After awhile, these gimmicks are mildly annoying and if I’m not in the mood, I will exit. Rare items are too rare. After awhile, you’re mostly earning money and just waiting around to hit the 2,000 battle mark to unlock everything at once. I mainly wanted Jin’s Tekken 6 coat and since I’m not very good at using him, I tried Katarina and Lucky Chloe some, that also took a long time.
The practice mode is great. It has the usual elements and maybe past games had this feature, and I didn’t notice but you can practice at specific points in the stages that have wall, balcony and/or floor breaks. I’ve done a lot of practicing. I think because I didn’t play Tag 2 much and my mind struggles a lot since November 9th of last year, it helps alleviate stress and maybe one day, I’ll be able to do those electrics every time or almost. I can say that I’ve been doing them more often and even got up to 3 at once.
New game-play mechanics include a Rage Art and Rage Drive. I love using Rage Arts. I usually don’t even try for a Rage Drive but if I keep practicing, maybe I’ll work them in. Devil Jin starts with a hellsweep, but the one or two times I focused on trying it in a Treasure Battle match, it didn’t go well and I guess I gave up on it. I saw this really powerful Rage Drive combo with a Katarina player on Twitter and tried to learn it. I never did, but I learned the first part, and she has since become one of my mains. Hopefully, I’ll remember to go back to trying it. My mains this time around include Devil Jin, Jin Kazama, Katarina, and Alisa. To a degree, you could include Lucky Chloe though I admit, it was mostly for manipulating the CPU. I picked up at least one combo. And you know, I wanted to add more mains, but when you start dedicating time to specific characters to learn more. well, it feels like there’s only so much room in my brain for them sometimes. I missed Xiaoyu and Lili so played them a little but when I do a rotation of my main characters in Treasure Battle, I don’t even think of trying them. Maybe I will, now that I’ve written this review.
That was quite a tangent but back to mechanics. Bound is gone, and now we have um, a tailspin move, and I don’t remember on Tekken Zaibatsu if the “s” stood for “spin” or for “screw,” and the game itself doesn’t seem to actually say, so, but it’s a spinning move. And the spin can be used in combos. There are also, some moves have new properties called Power Crush, like Jin and Devil Jin have had Corpse Thrust for at least since Tekken 5, no, even longer um, but that is now a Power Crush move. Um, and for someone like me, that was extremely helpful against the CPU in Treasure Battle. The game lacks other usual modes from past games like Survival and Team Battle. Um, I liked Team Battle so I miss it. Survival’s nice too, I mainly like miss Team Battle though.
Customizations are again not as good as what Tekken 6 offered. My Alisa customization in Tekken 6 wore a blue best over a long-sleeved black shirt, not an option. She wore shorts with her Battle Boots. You can get the Battle Boots this time but if you want to use them, they are with the bikini bottom. Again for all the tops like in Tag 2, you cannot pick say a specific pair of gloves you want with a shirt or jacket. Gloves either come with it or they don’t. The hair options regress even more because I can no longer get the bushy ponytail I used to be reminiscent of Leona from King of Fighters for Alisa. For me, that is a significant part of my vision for the customization I want so that was a loss. I’m thinking about making a video of how backwards customization has gone for another time.
Another thing that’s gone is replays. They’d be a few seconds to show what happened at the end of the match, and you could use that time to pick a button for a specific win pose if you wanted. You can still try to get a win pose you want, but the time frame is much tighter, and I miss the actual replays themselves as well.
The game has this cool feature that offers a jukebox where you can customize what music you listen to in the game. You can use tracks from past games, and that’s really great. I tend to turn the music off because I concentrate better with none at all in Practice, and then just don’t bother turn it back on a lot of time but when I do have it on, I don’t like some of the Tekken 7 tracks, so I’m glad I had this feature to set them to other ones.
Moving on, I really, really love that technology has come to a point where we can all so easily share things, especially on PS4. I can show off my customizations and clip some random funny thing that happened. I’ve even used it to analyze what I might be missing in practice through like a frame-by-frame replay.
Quick remark on customizations. Before Patch 1.03, you could get some really dark black colors on your people and then after the update, many of them turn to a lighter gray that I know myself and others did not like at all. That it was so hard, it was hard to see sometimes, like in actual matches, but I find it hard to believe that it couldn’t be better handled.
Anyway, back to sharing. I can see if my PS4 friends liked the things I shared on Twitter. Another perk of technology sharing is being able to watch so much top-level Tekken play so easily, thanks to YouTube and Twitch.
So, all in all, I found some things to enjoy this game, and I do intend to keep playing. Um, but I do kind of feel, that with the long wait, um, and even with my, what I felt, tempered expectations, of kind of saying, I didn’t like Tekken 6, I didn’t like these things, I know that these things can happen again, and trying to ready myself for what it could be, I’m still disappointed that so many things changed and not for the better. And I do hope that eventually, if this series continues, um, we can go back to a better place, similar to what we had before instead of feeling like the series is slowly stripping away some of the, a lot of the things that we took for granted um, in enjoying what Namco, not gave us, but you know, they put forth for us to buy. And so, you know, hopefully things will get better. Well, let me re-phrase that because I am not an optimistic or hopeful person when it comes to Tekken. Um, it’ll be nice if that ever happens. I’ll say that. I do not expect it to happen and it is, I do hope, that things do not keep getting worse. At the very least, I can say that.
So anyway, thanks for listening and/or watching my video. Bye-bye.
Amazon.com: Tekken 7 for PlayStation 4
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